Meg goes from Frappuccino fan to fists of fury.
Hollywood movies sometimes take a long time to come to Japan. Even major blockbusters sometimes have their Japanese premiers weeks after their U.S. ones, and that delay can get even longer for smaller films.
So while American moviegoers got to see the film Peppermint over a year ago, it’s just come out in Japan, where it’s known by the much more dynamic title Riley North-Goddess of Revenge (changing the titles of American films being another thing movie distributors in Japan often do). The film, a tale of vigilante revenge, struck a chord with our Japanese-language reporter Meg. Like Meg, the titular Riley, played by actress Jennifer Garner, is a married woman with kids and a normal job (though Riley’s work as a banker is more normal than Meg’s photographing her male coworkers in traditional Japanese loincloths). But when a drug lord’s henchmen gun down Riley’s husband and daughter, she resolves to avenge them, and spends years training to acquire the necessary combat skills she’ll need to do it.
Thankfully, no such tragedies have befallen Meg or her family. Still, as she watched the film, she couldn’t help admiring Riley’s strength, and wondered if she herself could go through such a transformation, despite her biggest battles to date being beating the crowds to be first in line when Starbucks launches new Frappuccino flavors and fighting the temptation to have pancakes with soy sauce for every meal.
▼ Can Meg go from this…
▼ …to this?
Impressed by the Krav Maga moves Riley shows off, Meg figured her first stop on the path to becoming a potential weapon of vengeance was a visit to the Krav Maga Tokyo Training Center, for a lesson from instructor Hayato Kawabata.
Like most people in Japan, Meg has had some exposure to martial arts such as judo and kendo, which are often taught in schools as part of the physical education curriculum. However, she quickly noticed that unlike those Japanese martial arts, which have also been adapted into competitive sports in modern society, Krav Maga remains strictly a fighting system. Developed by the Israeli military, its purpose is to subdue an opponent or fend them off long enough to create an opportunity to escape, and as such it doesn’t have any set rules, opting instead to focus on solutions for actual life-and-death violent situations.
In a way, that makes Krav Maga easier to learn, because there aren’t any arbitrary regulations put in place to ensure competitive balance, nor time spent learning strategies to bend such rules. Instead, every technique has a logical, practical reason for existence such as “If you push your opponent’s joint in this direction, you can throw them off their feet even if you’re not very strong” or “If you press someone’s hand this way when they’re holding a knife, they’ll drop it, no matter how strong they are.”
But while Meg found the concepts easy to grasp and remember, having your body react appropriately in a split-second is another matter, and requires intense drilling. So after a surprisingly intense warm-up routine, which included throwing punches while doing one-handed push-ups…
…the Krav Maga Tokyo Training Center taught Meg some striking fundamentals, helping her deliver swift kicks and powerful punches.
Also on the schedule: repeated practice dealing with knife-wielding attackers, including disarming techniques.
▼ Don’t mess with Meg.
Unfortunately, Meg’s busy schedule as a dedicated journalist and loving mother means she can’t copy Riley’s plan and spend five years focusing strictly on becoming a righteous killing machine. Still, with the knowledge and practice from her Krav Maga crash course, she’s now the odds-on favorite to become the new champion of the SoraNews24 intra-office fighting circuit.
Related: Krav Maga Japan, Riley North-Goddess of Revenge
Peppermint image: Lakeshore Entertainment Productions/STX Financing
All other images ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]